Atola Adds RAID 6 Support To Its TaskForce Imagers

Atola Technology introduces the long-awaited support for RAID 6 in a new firmware version 2023.10 for both its forensic hardware imagers: the portable TaskForce with 18 ports and the newest TaskForce 2 with 26 ports, including four M.2 NVMe ports, and a cumulative speed of 25 TB/hour.

From now on, the forensic experts who use TaskForce or TaskForce 2, can:

  • Automatically reassemble RAID 6 arrays consisting of drives, images, or both.
  • Rebuild a RAID 6 array even if one or two of its members are missing or damaged.
  • Create a full physical image of RAID 6 or perform logical imaging of only selected partitions, folders, and files.

“We’ve put a lot of work into this TaskForce update to support RAID 6. In addition to JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 10, and 5, you can now automatically detect, reassemble, and image this popular RAID type,” said Vitaliy Mokosiy, the CTO of Atola Technology. “Thanks to RAID 6 extra redundancy with two parity blocks, both TaskForce and TaskForce 2 can rebuild RAID 6 arrays with two damaged or missing devices. On top of that, we are excited to introduce many other features related to the imaging process, NVMe drives, and case management.”

Rebuilding and Imaging RAID 6

After automatically reassembling RAID 6 arrays, TaskForce creates a bit-by-bit or logical forensic copy of an array. 

If the RAID parameters are known, they can be selected manually including the order of the RAID members. Since RAID 6 arrays feature not one, but two types of parity blocks (XOR parity and Reed-Solomon parity), the Parity block order parameter is also available for manual selection when the RAID type is set to RAID 6.

If the RAID configuration is unknown, the built-in Autodetection module searches through thousands or even millions of possible combinations to find a suitable one in a matter of minutes.

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For RAIDs created by mdadm in Linux, TaskForce instantly recognizes their configuration using RAID metadata.

Thanks to the extra redundancy of RAID 6 arrays with two parity block types instead of one, TaskForce can rebuild a RAID 6 array even if two of its members are missing. After a possible configuration is applied during the autodetection (or manual selection of parameters), TaskForce rebuilds the array, parses its file systems, and validates the partitions. Users can preview volumes, folders, and files before proceeding to the physical or logical imaging. 

More Control Over NVMe Drives

In the firmware version 2023.10, Atola Technology introduced a new status bar for NVMe drives. It is situated at the bottom of the imaging page and shows details about the NVMe drive’s state, providing more control over the imaging process.

A range of indicators provides information about device presence, readiness to accept commands, power consumption, and temperature.

The Diagnostics report for NVMe drives has also been enhanced. Now it features three more parameters that describe the drive’s configuration and condition:

  • PCIe generation of a drive gives an insight into the drive’s max bandwidth and performance. 
  • A table with all possible power states of a drive provides details about max power consumption and latency of switching between power states.
  • Warning and Critical temperature levels show when a drive starts overheating. These parameters are received from controller data.

Enhanced Imaging Process, Case Management, and NVMe Wiping

With the 2023.10 firmware, Atola TaskForce and TaskForce 2 have received a variety of other improvements related to the imaging process, NVMe drives, and case management. Here are some of them:

  • RAID: The autodetection of RAID configuration, detection of partition types, and display of device tags have been improved. To view MBR/GPT table information, users can now hover over the corresponding device tag.
  • Imaging: Users can check network speed when selecting a folder for a target image. In case of power or network connection loss, TaskForce autosaves the imaging progress to seamlessly resume the process later.
  • NVMe drives: A new wiping method – Sanitize – is available.
  • Case management: Users can now delete devices from a case and use non-unique case names. The case contains a new list of target images and drives used with a source drive.

About Atola TaskForce

Atola TaskForce is a high-performance forensic hardware imager with 18 ports, capable of running 12+ parallel imaging, hashing, or wiping sessions at 15 TB/hour cumulative speed. Atola TaskForce supports automated RAID reassembly and imaging with a missing device, has Express mode for time-saving self-launching imaging, and provides Web API for automating forensic data acquisition workflow.

About Atola TaskForce 2

Atola TaskForce 2 is a new version of the TaskForce forensic imager, designed primarily for in-lab usage. The new device has 26 ports, including four M.2 NVMe ports, and can image 25+ drives simultaneously, even the damaged ones, reaching 25 TB/hour cumulative speed. TaskForce 2 has all the features of TaskForce, including RAID and damaged drives support, Express mode, and Web API for workflow automation.

About Atola Technology

Atola Technology is an innovative company based in the Vancouver area, Canada, specializing in creating forensic imaging hardware tools for the global forensic market.

Atola’s engineers – including its founder and CEO Dmitry Postrigan – have strong expertise in storage media and data recovery, and focus on creating highly efficient and user-friendly forensic imagers.

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